Recently I had an article published in Darling Magazine* called “5 Things England Taught Me,” in which I discussed my long-time fascination with England, my desire to live there, and what I learned whilst residing there (aside from words like “whilst”).
As I reflected back on our time living in England, and began scrawling notes on a yellow lined pad, I turned to my husband and said, “Do you remember the moment when I first asked you if you’d move to England?” He nodded.
It’s funny how some memories are just ingrained in our psyches… Like a tattoo, or a birthmark, or (worse) a hereditary disease.
In December 2007, my husband and I went to England, France and Switzerland for about a month. The first leg of our trip was spent in England, where we stayed with some friends just outside a very small and very idyllic village in the English countryside called Sudbury. Sudbury is the kind of town that gets its own postcard – it’s that cute.
One day, my husband and I set off for a walk into the village. We were newly married, so it was a lot of talking about our feelings, canoodling, holding hands, cupping each other’s faces in each other’s hands, deep and meaningful glances, and stopping to share a passionate kiss or make sweet, sweet love in a lush meadow. I’m surprised we made any progress at all.
I remember the exact moment, the exact place where I said the words that changed our lives forever… It happened here:
I know what you’re thinking: “Doesn’t look like much.” And, you’re right – it really doesn’t. It’s just your typical English road with a bit of pedestrian pavement – not the sort of place that changes people’s lives. And yet – it did…
Because I turned to my husband and said, “What if we lived in England?”
And those six words started the ball rolling on what would become a very exciting, sad, scary, merry, mirthful**, life-altering chapter of our lives. We quit our jobs, we sold our car, we gave away most of our stuff, we said our good-byes, and we went on a journey.
A journey that took us around the world, and then, after six years, back again.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I returned to Sudbury for a visit. One day we decided to take a walk into the village. As we approached that particular bit of pedestrian pavement, I pointed ahead and said, “That’s where it all started. That’s where I uttered those words.”
“Um, no.” My husband said, pointing further down the road. “It definitely happened over there.”
“There” being here:
I gave my husband the look***. “I don’t think so.”
He turned to me, and said, “I know so.”
“You don’t know so.” My hands moved up to my hips.
“I do know so.”
Me: “I’m younger and have a better memory. Plus I take fish oil supplements.”
Him: “They are like 50 yards from each other, so it doesn’t actually matter, does it?”
Me: “Yeah, probably not.”
Me (in my head): “I’m obviously right and he’s obviously absolutely, unequivocally, wrong.”
And that’s how memories (and marriage) works.
* A wonderfully affirmative magazine that aims to redefine beauty and empower women.
** I was looking for an excuse to use this word.
*** You know, the look.